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It was with great expectations that we elected a new president in November 2008. We even gave him the Nobel Peace Prize as a bonus.

He was going to end our wars; fix the economy; lower unemployment; fix the health care system; and do a host of other good things.

Itís been amateur years ever since.

Here we are almost four years later — with the economy in the doldrums; unemployment at more than 8 percent and much higher for those entering the work force; two wars; and a health care system thatís seriously flawed and costly, causing several states to ask the Supreme Court to rule on its constitutionality.

We are more than $14 trillion in the hole after two stimuli, and now heís asking for a third.

To make matters worse, he wants more big government and higher taxes.

He still has less than a year to go and lightning still might strike, but itís hard to get a tiger to change its stripes. The news every day is bad here and abroad. In Europe, where they already have more socialism, the situation is worse, with countries like Greece struggling to find a way to pay its debts and keep people from rioting.

Itís time for Americans to wake up, whether theyíre Democrats, Republicans or Independents.

It doesnít pay to keep throwing money away hoping for a Las Vegas win. Most Americans understand living beyond your means only can last so long, then the painful part of repayment begins.

The Democratic solution to all this is to tax the rich, who pay most of the taxes now.

Spending money we donít have for wars we donít need is just one example of good intentions gone wrong.

Our new health care system, which makes no economic sense, puts the decisions on health care with government bureaucrats and will — when fully implemented — lead to rationing, most likely at the expense of the elderly.

Republicans have a good case for fiscal responsibility, including entitlement reform with a goal of faster growth and economic opportunities for all, but this is not an easy sell.

Nobody wants to be the first in giving up the good things of life.

This is a hard sell, but a necessary one.

Itís been said President Barack Obama already has lost the election, but Republicans have yet to make their case, so Obama could win by default.

Weíre in for hard times in the future. Gone are the days when reckless spending was the norm of the day. We will be paying for many years to come.

The first step is getting control of the situation. Neither the president nor Congress seem to grasp the severity of the situation and the dose of medicine required.

You need to nudge your elected officials for solutions or replace them with someone who can solve the problem. Weíve been making the problem worse for too long, so the medicine only will get more painful.

The time for action is long past, so we need to replace our words with deeds, and that doesnít include spending more money we donít have.

John Schied, Warrenton